Chickpea Tacos: An easy weeknight dinner

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacosI’m flashing back today to one of the first recipes on Cadry’s Kitchen – chickpea tacos. They’re an easy weeknight dinner that I’ve been making for years. (Literally. The first time I posted my chickpea taco recipe it was 2009. A young Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. I would blast I Got a Feeling while I did my hair, and the U.S. postage stamp cost 42 cents.)

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacosOver time, the spices and seasonings for chickpea tacos have changed slightly. I’ve fallen in love with ancho chili powder, and I now prefer stuffing the tacos with green leaf lettuce instead of spinach.

While the little details have shifted, chickpea tacos have remained a mainstay on my table. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that always sounds good. Tacos for two (usually with enough left over for David’s lunch the next day) are ready in under a half an hour.  Plus, with chickpeas as the main component, it’s an inexpensive meal made with ingredients I usually have on hand.

With a blend of ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a squeeze of lime juice, these tacos have layers of warming, spicy flavors. I top them with guacamole or avocado, and they’re perfect with a side of rice, nachos, or as a complete meal all on their own.

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacos

Chickpea Tacos

Serving Size: Makes 6-8 tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped in even medium pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 15 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 Tablespoon) or 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 1/4 cup water (plus additional if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 6-8 taco shells or tortillas
  • 1 cup green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 batch of guacamole
  • Optional toppings: cilantro, jalapeño peppers, hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat. Set a tablespoon of the onions aside to use as a topping and mince them. Add the remaining onions and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes, until they are fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add chickpeas, lime juice, water, ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt to skillet. Saute for 10 minutes until heated through. If the chickpeas become dry and the spices start sticking to the pan, lower heat and add a tablespoon or two of water and combine to deglaze the pan. Smash some of the chickpeas with a fork for texture, and so that they don't roll out of the tacos. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Remove from heat.
  4. Put the shells or tortillas on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes until warm.
  5. Remove the shells or tortillas from the oven. Fill each shell or tortilla with the chickpea mixture, some of the lettuce, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, and any optional toppings like cilantro, jalapeño peppers, or hot sauce.
http://cadryskitchen.com/2015/02/09/chickpea-tacos/

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacosP.S. I know that spring cleaning is usually relegated to homes, but I’m feeling it around my blog as I’m coming up on six years of writing Cadry’s Kitchen at the end of May.

In the spirit of updating and renewal, I’m in the process of getting my blog redesigned. (I’m so excited!! I can’t wait to reveal it once it’s ready.) I’m also going through old posts, hiding the ones that are no longer relevant, and polishing the ones that are showing their age. So expect to see more posts with some new-and-improved photos and refreshed recipes.

Easy Snack: Roasted Chickpeas

Easy snack: Roasted ChickpeasA month of foods that make me feel like coming home - Cadry's KitchenThis month I’m sharing recipes that are familiar and cozy.

I definitely go through food obsessions. I’ve been that way my whole life. Sometime in junior high I started making ramen noodles from those 25-cent packages, and I made them almost every day. I had my own special method for cooking them – light on the broth, noodles slightly al dente. I ate them and ate them until I became sick of them. By the time people were going to college and living on ramen, the mere thought of them was stomach turning to me.

Since then I’ve gone through artichoke phases, hot sauce phases, mushroom phases… For the past few years, I’ve been deeply entrenched in a sauerkraut and pickled jalapeño phase.

Roasted chickpeas: an easy snackBut there was a period about 7 years ago when I could not get enough roasted chickpeas. I wanted them as a snack instead of popcorn. I put them in salads. I threw them into pasta. I topped sautéed collard greens with them. Thankfully, I learned my lesson with the ramen, and I didn’t eat the roasted chickpeas to the point of nausea. Even though that phase has passed, I still love roasted chickpeas and eat them at least once or twice a month.

I don’t follow any kind of recipe for them. (Although, I’ll share one at the bottom of this post to make it easy for folks trying roasted chickpeas for the first time.) I just take drained and rinsed chickpeas, put them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drizzle them lightly with oil, add a bit of salt and a generous helping of nutritional yeast flakes and bake them at 400 degrees for about twenty minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during baking.

The chickpeas brown a bit better if you dry them first with a towel before putting them on the baking sheet, but honestly, I don’t do that most of the time. If you prefer crunchier chickpeas, you can leave them in the oven a little longer. I like them with a bit of crunch on the outside but still creamy on the inside.

Roasted chickpeas: perfect topping for an easy saladI made roasted chickpeas this week to go with a lunch of a simple salad.

Nibbly night with roasted chickpeasStill not in the mood to cook, we finished them off later that evening for a nibbly night. I roasted the chickpeas again in the oven, just long enough to heat them, and added another sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes.

Nibbly night with easy roasted chickpeasThen I served them with a couple of ripe summer tomatoes that had been sliced, Castelvetrano olives, pepperoncinis, orange bell pepper slices, grapes, and dolmas (another food that very much feels like home to me even though I didn’t discover it until my twenties). I also had a container of local olive tapenade and grilled garlic bread to round out the meal for an easy and tasty supper.

Roasted Chickpeas: Easy snack & salad topper

Roasted Chickpeas

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss chickpeas in extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, and salt on baking sheet. Spread the chickpeas evenly across the sheet for even baking, making sure the chickpeas aren't touching.
  4. Put baking sheet in the oven and roast chickpeas for 20 minutes, stopping once or twice to shake the pan so that the chickpeas roast evenly.
  5. Remove from oven and serve.
http://cadryskitchen.com/2014/09/20/easy-snack-roasted-chickpeas/

Do you have any current vegan food obsessions?